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The Almost Circus and Invisible Audience

Sometimes, we just have to push ourselves.

One day I was looking through my portfolio and feeling like I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I started thinking about things I had never done before: techniques, colors, anything that would present a challenge that I could run with and have fun. About 2 hours later, I was ordering a vintage unicycle off of Ebay and contacting my models to go out and have some fun. About a week later, we did just that.

I work in the square format exclusively when it comes to my fine art work. This is not arbitrary; I decided when I started photography that I loved the way the square frame presented a story, rather than the explicit knowledge of looking at a picture. To me, the square frame allows the viewer to look beyond the medium and see the content first. That might just be my skewed opinion but at the very least, it suits me and has guided the way I see photography ever since.

In this image, I have left the square format only briefly. By creating a triptych I have created two different formats in one. It is a panoramic when you put the three images together, and that is how they are meant to be viewed. But at the same time, they are to be hung as three separate prints that go together to make one scene. I worked in the square format to create a panoramic image.

I had a blast shooting this, though nearly had to put it off due I told my models to meet me on the beach before sunrise, but had not accounted for the fact that all of the beaches were locked up and there was no where to park. So, after driving for almost 45 minutes to find a beach to shoot on, and after waving past numerous cops (who I can’t believe didn’t stop me), I got to shoot the image. The sun was nearly up, but thankfully we beat it and got to shooting. I was very thankful I had two models on hand, since I had my model Katie here balancing on a stool while on a unicycle that not only did she not know how to ride, but was also too short for.

I hope if nothing else that you enjoy the experiment. I’m always trying new things and it always teaches me something important. Creating a bigger scene than just one person centered in a frame can be a real challenge, and I look forward to trying more like this in the future. Maybe not in this format, but certainly working with groups of characters rather than one or two.

Models: Katie Johnson & Bryce Rankins

{ 14 } Comments

  1. VonWong | July 14, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I really like this one! The story and the ability to combine 3 images into one yet have them all stand out alone is tough! Congrats you :)

  2. Alexandra | July 14, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I really love this photo – something about the rope around his neck and face choking him and the frayed strand about to break makes me want to cry.

  3. Nina Louvier | July 14, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Wow! it is Amazing! you always surprise us!

  4. Teri Hofford | July 14, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    this is an amazing image…the small details are the best part!

  5. Heather | July 14, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    LOVE this!! This is one of my favorites, I think, and as Teri commented, I love the little details. I was playing with the idea of a ‘high wire’ kinda shot the other day, but it was nothing as fantastic as this. Perfect for a triptych! :)

  6. sarah | July 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I love this – it may be one of my favourites from you, the detail is wonderful and the beautiful background takes my breath away.

  7. Paulo Carvalho | July 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Very good indeed. No doubt that is one of your works I like most. Congratulations.

  8. Ernie Van Veen | July 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Lovely photograph. I love the texture and colour balance. Nice work! Did you actually shoot the background as a three-shot panorama, or did you use a single wide shot for that? Because if it’s a panorama, it looks very seamless!

  9. Isabel | July 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink


  10. Roxanne Richardson | July 15, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    I am in total awe of your storytelling talent. I love this piece! This story is so rich in detail, the frayed rope, the red outfit, the time of day, the unicycle and then some, yet is so uncluttered. You are my inspiration! Thank you so very much for sharing. :)

  11. Melina | July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh my! Brooke this is absolutely amazing and truly inspiring. Beautifully done!

  12. Julie Perez | July 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering when this was going to be posted. It came out amazing! I love your creative mind, and Love you!!! Great job Brooke!

  13. Sarah Allegra | July 19, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    LOVE. Oh my goodness, I love this! Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone… I’m very glad you did so we can enjoy this image :)

  14. Tammy | February 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    My goodness…how absolutely stunning, I hadn’t seen the full version. Simply love your work and great job on CreativeLive!

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